March 26, 2005
Oh for crying out loud. You're going to love this. A few days ago, I posted a mini-rant on the drama-ridden lives of some of the people who share our world. The entry is here.
I was amazed by the amount of e-mail I got regarding this post (you folks out there are REALLY paying attention). Most of the letters were saying, "Holy shit! You just described the crazy people I work with/live with, etc." One of my friends wrote and said, "Tell the truth now, have you been following me...and spying? Because your words perfectly described the social circles [around here]. Pfft! I find myself able to handle the actual work, but unwilling to shovel through the dramas. There’s enough drama in [our work] without playing the “games without rules” in the inner circles. Pfft! Again. Mostly I stay quiet and do my job. Like you, I refuse to play." (Edited to protect the identities]
There was a small sliver of people who wrote to me all aghast. "How dare you call me white trash!! How dare you judge me and my life!" I find that absolutely hilarious. As I reread it now, I realize how mortified I would be if I read that and felt it identified it as ME in any way. Doesn't the fact that some people see themselves in what I wrote only serve to prove my point? I'm not talking about people who have a run of bad luck from time to time, but about people who live their lives in a cycle of drama and victimization.
Honestly and truthfully, the examples I gave were not all taken from one person and one experience. I looked back over YEARS of dealing with these kinds of people, from my mother forward over 30-40 years, plucking examples from many different situations. If they all applied to one person, (other than being a damned shame) it's a total coincidence. If someone saw themselves in what I wrote, what does that really say? Aren't they actually identifying themselves as drama queens and eternal victims? If they weren't like that, they'd never recognize themselves enough to be offended. That they actually do recognize themselves in random examples like that is pretty scary and that they create drama around that recognition only really furthers the drama queen validation, don't you think?
For all the people who wrote to say, "Agggghhhh! You're talking about the people I ______" (insert "work with," "live around," etc) "and they make me crazy," I thought you might really enjoy hearing this part of the story. It's sort of the punchline to the joke.
March 25, 2005
Wow. What a bizarre and fascinating day. After Eric made it home (around 2pm), Dyl and I took off to do some shopping. It was the first time in forever I actually forgot the cell phone (I'm betting you can figure that no story that starts like this is going anywhere good).
So we went to the antique store and I got my vase:
Is that so me or what?? It's easily 18 inches tall. The first side has the four faces of the Goddess, Maid, Mother, Diva and Crone. The second is an interesting sun/moon juxtapose, the next is a representation of sun worship and the last side is that cool moon face. My callas will go in there.
Don't look at how cluttered my table is. That's not what I'm showing you here. This is the really cool brass stag I found for the God altar. To the right is a neat little cast iron balancing man that appealed to me.
So I got those things and Dylan raided the 50 cent stuffed toy basket. We went on to the pizza place and Dylan played some video games in their little arcade while we waited for the pizza and cheese sticks to be done. We ate, headed on to Walmart and Albertsons to finish up shopping.
Before I headed back up the hill, since I had forgotten the cell phone, I called Eric collect from a payphone to let him know that we'd finished and were on the way back up the mountain. I wanted to make sure that if he thought of anything else he needed for the weekend that I could pick it up before I left.
As soon as he spoke, I knew something was wrong. At first, he said, "I'll talk to you about it when you get home," but most of you know me well enough to know THAT wasn't going to hold me over, so I pressed and finally he told me that he was having severe chest pains and that the paramedics were on the way.
The man is 28 years old! I sounded horrible. He sounded terrified.
I told him I would be home as soon as possible.
The ride home is a blur. Dylan was talking nonstop, unaware that anything was going on. My head was rushing, relieved at first to remember that no one in his family had a history of heart disease... except his father with his damned octoople bypass. Fuck.
I was ten minutes from home when I met two fire trucks and an ambulance coming the other direction. No lights or sirens on, but A) they wouldn't have them on unless their way was impeded, which isn't normally the case on our roads and B) they wouldn't have them on if he was dead. Shit. I fought the impulse to follow them on to Marshall Hospital, but I pushed on, knowing that it was possible Delena was at the house watching Nathan if they had to take Eric in.
When I drove up, Eric was sitting up on the balcony. I immediately burst into tears. As it turned out, the pain had started to subside before the paramedics arrived (it took them 35 minutes because they came up from Diamond Springs). They checked his heart on the portable EKG and he had a perfectly normal rhythm despite the pain. They gave him the option of being taken to the hospital or getting checked out at the VA hospital next week and he took the latter. He still has some pain, but from what he's describing, it sounds to me more like costochondritis, which is in inflammation of the cartilage of the sternum. I've had it before and it is extremely painful and scary.
Now, he seems fine, though still achy. I had him take some motrin in case it is costochondritis to reduce the inflammation and he's soaking in the jacuzzi. I'm counting my blessings and swearing to never become complacent again. Wow. That was quite a tense 40 minutes. My blood is still on fire and that was 3 hours ago. I feel like I can't even put my teeth together.
I think maybe I should join him in that spa.
Pictures from last night:
Eric (left) and Joe (right) in the hot tub in the snow. :) I am grateful that, as far as I know, this was not to be my last photo of him.
PS: But isn't that a badass vase?
March 25, 2005
Joe left out with Eric this morning around 7:30. It's almost 3 hours to the airport and he leaves out around 12:30, so it should work out fine. I'll miss him tremendously. This two weeks served to remind me of why I like him so much and how important he is to me. I teared up as he left, but was able to shake it off.
Around 10am, I tossed the kids their swim trunks and we all went out to the jacuzzi. I swear, that thing is worth its weight in gold. I never knew how much I needed one until I got it. It's amazing how cheap you can find them from people moving into apartments and wanting to download them quickly. Between the newspapers and craigslist.com, they're almost free. I'm glad we got it now because the electricity isn't as expensive as it was in Sacramento county. As soon as I get into it, anything that was bothering me before just melts away. In my mind, I'll think I'm going out to think through my problems, but as soon as the jets start and that hot water starts rolling around me, I can barely remember what my problems even were.
The kids love it too, so it's very much a family thing. It mellows them right out. Both Eric and I have been sleeping so much better since we got it. It's quite an experience to trudge through snow in my bathing suit, freezing, slip into the hot water and then have my core temp so high when I leave that I don't even feel the cold until I'm at the front door.
Two nights ago, Delena was really, really eager for me to go in with her. It was about 10pm and probably 30 degrees out. I laughed at her and told her, "No way." Then it hit me that wow, my 12-year-old daughter wants me to spend time with her and I should be willing to walk across an acre of razor blades to do that! So I put on my swimsuit and out we went! It turned out to be glorious. We laughed and talked and spent almost an hour there before unanimously deciding it was time to sleep. I vow to never let go of an opportunity for one on one time with her.
Lord no. I'm taking all the minutes I can get.
I caved in and bought silk calla lilies:
I bought two bunches of them and there is a beautiful vase at an antique shop halfway between here and Placerville that will be perfect. I've been courting the vase for a few weeks, but it costs more than I would normally spend on myself specifically ($25). Things for the coven/circle that we will all use are expenses which I can better justify. This is my Spring gift to myself to always remind me of my beautiful miracles. I've had my eye open for real callas to raise inside, but haven't found any that I liked and these looked so much like the ones at my old house that I so loved that I had to have them. I recently told someone, "there is something to be said for impulse control, " but not this time. :) My life has been so amazingly, richly blessed that I always want to remember that when things are hard, the miracles are just around the corner in abundance.
The fire is roaring in the wood stove, running that fine line between being over-hot and wonderfully cozy. The sun is shining brightly in a dazzling blue sky and all of the clouds are white and fluffy. The snow is melting from the roof and dripping off the edges, so it looks like it's raining even though the sky is so clear. I'm glad the snow is melting quickly. It was raining when I went to bed last night, but when we woke up, everything had turned to ice over the snow. It appears we have to make lots of progress through the day with the sun and hope for the best in the night. I'll be glad when the threat of snow has passed, usually around May 1st.
My house is needing a good straightening but damned if I have the interest or will to do it right now. I think it's going to involve a snooze on the couch, a little regrouping and ...
The best laid plans of mice and Virgos...
Eric just called to say he's on the way home early instead of staying late! Looks like the snooze and regroup will have to wait until after I get the house "warrened" and cozy for my guy to come home. Since he's kind enough to trudge out and make the bacon, I'm more than happy to have a homey, warm, cuddly place for him to come home to. I just didn't expect it quite so soon!
I hope you have a lovely weekend filled with joy and miracles. When Eric gets back, I'm going to town for supplies (and my vase!) and then a relaxing, peaceful weekend.
March 23, 2005
Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated. I didn't think I would ever get back to my journal again the way things were going and honestly, I'm not sure I'm back now. With kids on Spring Break and being weirdly omnipresent and needy in that cuddly way and not that whiney way, I've been busy every minute. They've been lovely and exceptionally well behaved, but they have determined that they luvvvvvvv me and want to be around me 8 days a week, 29 hours a day. Breathing air that a child did not first exhale hasn't happened much lately.
Joe got here on Friday, March 11th and the following week, while kids were in school, we were on the go nonstop and I mean every moment. Eric was also out of work for most of the week (since the fire and security alarm installation work he does is primarily on buildings that are in the process of being built, he's basically in "construction" and "construction" has a terrible time moving during the winter and then getting started up again in the spring), so it seemed like we were never home. I enjoyed all we did, but I missed my routine and my home. I especially missed my writing. Since I've gotten used to writing in the Nonsoapy 4-5 times a week, going for 13 days without an entry has left me feeling congested and uneasy. I've come to depend on the cathartic release of communicating with you folks.
So much has happened in that time that I am warring between where to start and what to leave out for the sake of brevity (and interest).
Situations that have come up in the past couple of weeks have reintroduced me into the world of personal drama, from which I formally seceded a few years back. My decision to do so has been galvanized by my recent brush with it. After years of being the "mommy" in the world and sacrificing anything and everything to make things nice and get people happy, I hit a wall a few years ago. Recently, I was dropped into a few situations where people were needing to be pursued, stroked and assuaged following misunderstandings and miscommunications, in order to feel validated. There was as script of things that they needed or wanted me to say, games they needed me to play, dance steps I was supposed to know to make them feel better again.
I just don't work that way. I expect everyone to be adults and if there is a miscommunication, all sides clarify where they were coming from and you move on in a positive way. I don't kowtow and genuflect and beg and appease and pay penance because people misunderstood where each other was coming from. I mean, it happens. I expect everyone to be grown up and apologize for any miscommunication, clarify and put it aside to get on with the experience of being in one another's worlds. Beyond that, I'm outta there.
If nothing else, these few experiences, coincidentally (yeah, sure) grouped together into a period of a couple weeks, have showed me that I have officially withdrawn from society and want nothing to do with the game-playing segment of it, which probably makes up a solid 90% or so. The great and outstanding and beautiful news is that I have learned that I really, really, really dig the other 10% and they are an amazing blessing in my life. :)
For a few years now, I've been a person who absolutely abhors drama. It's something I equate to a white trash world where people have little other means of being important in their own lives than to be victimized on an ongoing basis by everyone around them so that they can whine incessantly to their nearest and dearest about how badly they have been treated and have their own sanctimoniousness validated. Throughout my childhood and into adult relationships, I watched as people would backbite, eviscerate and otherwise decimate one another, then run to their opposite corners, "camps," for lack of a better analogy, I guess, to lick their wounds and whimper about how done wrong they are to their nearest and dearest of the moment. Then the world turns a quarter turn and someone from their own camp becomes the next enemy while the person they were attacking a few days before consoles them and strokes their fur back in the right direction again while spitting and hissing at the new enemies like rabid cats. The camps are reformed until the world turns another quarter turn and the process rearranges and repeats again. They call it "forgiveness," but as I see it, it's all very incestuous and ugly with the same 5-10 people swapping off the role of "bad guy" and "pit crew" for each other. And that's not even counting the "uninvolved and incidental enemies" who come along: the person at the bank who refuses to reverse the (justified) NSF charges, the woman at the WIC office, the bitch check-out girl at the grocery store, the teacher at your kid's school... there's always a long string of enemies waiting to attack, seemingly every day, always providing a new, delicious story of persecution and victimization. Life for these drama folks is one big long "poor me" festival. Seldom if ever does anyone stop the madness, say, "You know, this is pretty sick" and get off the merry-go-round by walking away. If they do, they either quickly are convinced of their high and might ways and are sucked right back in or they are reviled for the rest of their lives by the jackals and hyenas from whom they defected.
I'm not bitter, I'm just *done* and when you view the world in that respect, the whole thing becomes kind of amusing, really. You can objectively witness all of the game-playing and bad ballet that goes into typical human existence, which makes the people who genuinely do not involve themselves in that kind of drama all the more valuable to be around. They stand out like a little golden beacon and you're drawn to them, like being in a foreign country and hearing an American voice. You can just relax and be yourself and not have to worry that you didn't get the playbook for the day or the latest memo on the rule changes, tensely waiting for the next shoe to fall. You don't have to walk on eggshells, wondering when the next explosion will come and from what direction. You're with people who are secure and confident, which allows you to be yourself and be secure and confident around them. It's not a contest or a test at all. It's just sharing good company.
So that was that. Weathered the dramas and determined that it's a place where I truly don't want to live. It was clarified to me that I've moved past the need to mommy and nurture people into feeling better at all costs and I'm firmly embedded in the Diva place where I am careful about where my energy goes and know when to cut my losses and back way up. That was a valuable reassurance.
That being handled right around the time Joe got here (but not involving Joe, I want to hasten to point out), I went headlong into Joe's visit. The first week (last week), we were gone nonstop. As I said, Eric was off work a good bit and we were on the go constantly. The weekend was busy with Ostara (Spring Equinox) on Saturday as far as the coven was concerned (ritual, etc) and then the kids has their bunny baskets on Sunday morning.
I did something a little different this year. Instead of putting their spring presents and chocolate bunnies in the baskets, I put one plastic egg in each basket with the child's name on it (they were a little puzzled when they first saw it). Inside the egg was a slip of paper with a two line rhyme in it directing them to another part of the house where one of their presents and another egg waited. ("On Mom's treadmill wrapped in red, you'll find a friend who breathes fire from his head" - Dylan's dragon statue) The new egg had another 2 line rhyme for them to go find another egg and the next present. They each had a half dozen or so gifts, so they got to play for a little while. They really seemed to enjoy it and really, it took me less than an hour to set it all up.
Around lunch time, Josh and Valerie came up with their three children and David arrived a couple of hours later. I actually had all of my kids in one place at the same time for the first time in 5 years. Pictures? Of course I have pictures:
Nathan (5 but my son, not my grandchild) &
older sons (wish I'd gotten Delena in this one
instead of part of her face):
happiest bunch in the world, huh?
All my kids
Me with the kiddies.
Eric in his
new leather hat that I bought for him, which
Joe went to town with Delena yesterday and saw The Ring 2 (both said it was terrible) and today, he rode to work with Eric and was dropped off in town to be picked up later. I'm watching (more) snow fall outside. Last week, I was considering packing away summer clothes and this week, we're looking for the snow shovel. It started yesterday afternoon and has fallen constantly since then. We're up to a good 6-8 inches. I'm past being pissed about the snow. It just is. Just looked outside. Easily a foot out there, so update for me.
So that's what's up in my world. I've had almost zero computer time between dealing with the real world and being on the go. Joe goes home on Friday morning and the kids go back to school on Monday. Around then, my life should be back into routine and I will likely be writing regularly again. In the meantime, I wanted to make sure you all knew I was thinking of you and that I'm still in the land of the living.
The visit with Joe has been quite a blessing and I look forward to spending more time with him on his visits in the future. The "abundant friendship" I was told to plant has been manifesting beautifully and I look forward to seeing how it plays out in the future.
Meanwhile, my "used to be in a relaxed routine" Virgo self is adjusting to the fast pace. :)
11 July 2003.